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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m training my dog to retrieve. Right now she is great on marked retrieves in the water and land is well.. It slowly getting better. She runs to the dummy on land and sometimes returns with it. I’m working on this with lots of praise and its getting better. I work discipline allot with her and recently have started whistle training her she is getting better on this as well. So now to my quick question. I want to get her to work with her nose more and less on seeing the mark fall. I’m thinking of teasing her with a duck wing and then making her sit while I go hide in the other room. Is this a good exercise? We both get bored working on whistle and hand signals inside and I think this would be a way to break it up and should be fun for her.
What ya all think?

Also where can I get some birds for her? I’m in Hartland.
 

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If and when you go the wing route I'd go out and do your normal routine a little bit with the wing fastened to the bumper/dummy. Then he'll associate the smell... Then I'd try doing some retrieves in tall grass and make him work and smell for it. He'll get the idea shortly.

Good luck

-Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually she has retrieved ducks on the water before and dummys with wings on them. She just doesnt like to retrieve on land. I think a real bird on land might help this some. But my main reason for wanting to do the wing in the house is it could be done after work quickly and she really doesnt seem to use her nose to find a mark. I screwed up and trained her to retrieve in the water first and now I think she associates the splash as the mark.
I am taking her out to the field tomorrow morning to throw the dummy though.
 

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How old is the dog?
All of the old times that I have trained with say don't worry about the nose, it will come around. To do obediance and marks, obedience and marks, obedi..............etc. When they get those down, then move on to Force Fetch and the rest.
Unlike the pointers and setters, Labs are trained first to be obedient, to do marks, to do blinds, and finally field/upland work.
Force Fetch will turn the occasional land retrieve into 100% land retrieves. Most every dog will be consistant on water retrieves because they have no where to go play with the dummy. My 8.5 month old Lab is 50/50 on land retrieves. But the important thing is that he wants the bumper bad, and goes to the mark like he's shot out of a cannon. That's what I want to see at this stage.
Do your mark(s) on short grass or open ground so she can see them clearly. When she can consistantly do 100-150 yard marks on this type of ground then go to high grass or cover. She should now be able to mark well enough that she'll cast out close to the fall, start searching, and her nose will pick up the scent.
As for blinds; the remote sit is the precursor of handling(signaling) to the blind.
I personally won't even try to start my dog on blinds until he's been FF'd and can do double marks to 150yds+. I will start marks early because the empasis is to get him to run right to the spot of the fall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well its time to type a book. Millie is 4 years old and was a house dog along with her sister Mollie until she was 3. I then started training her to retrieve. I started her on water retrieves because that is what came natural to her. She has basic obediance. Sit / Stay until the sun comes up if that what I want. She lives to please me and phisical disapline is never needed. I guess heal needs some work she will line up next to me with the command but doesnt line up exactly where I am looking at. We have sit with both vocal and hand signal. We have started wistle trainig and she knows sit and is still a bit confused by come I need to vocalize it to reinforce that I wanted her to break the sit command. Not a bad problem to have in my opinion.
I guess my main consern is that on land she will chase the dummy down with lots of energy but not always retrieve to me. Actually she does not retrieve to hand she retrieves to "near me" I made some mistakes early on in her training and will either need to do some work to get her to retrieve to hand or accept the fact that she will bring it to my feet.
The idea with Millie is first to learn to train a dog. I cant get another dog for atleast 4 years and at that point will have 3 large dogs in the house. I want to know what I am doing when the new pup arives. Also Millie has the desire to hunt with me she is heartbroken when I take the gun but not her in the morning, that alone is reason enough to train a dog in my mind.
Millie has done a retrieve on a real dead duck shot by me but it was not a marked retrieve so I had to wade out with her to the area and send her on the duck. She brought it back.. I was one proud dad. Alright so that a bit of history on her.

So FieldWalker has been giving me alot of help and I want to thank him.

I think I have my finger on my consern with Millie. Im worried that the training is reducing her desire to hunt and that why I want to make it fun. After FieldWalkers sujestion I have decided to get some live birds clip there flight feathers and do a blank shot and toss with them for her to run down. I think this will really help get her back into things. As it is right now all she is getting is some OB in the house at night after work. Not much fun for her. This is also why I was asking about hidding the wings in the house for her is it good for her nose and fun?
Lastly thanks to everyone that is helping. I have been getting advice in the Waterfowl forum as well and I am reading all I can get my hands on.
Alright, Off to bed I have a walk in the field planned tomorrow morning for millie and am taking the duck dummy and some wings for her.
 

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Just keep your training times short and positive. If you work them to much they will get bored with it. If you make them do retrieves over and over they will get tired of it even with live birds. Dont over train the retrieve. A few good retrieves in a training session should be all you need. Done right training should not dull the dogs hunting desire. Drilling the dog over and over will.



Back Woods

Hi Five Kennels
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Today went well. I took her out to a cut ( high cut) corn field with some standing corn left. We walked for a while and then I threw the bumper for her with a duck wing attached. She returned it to me:)
Second throw. Same result. :)
Third and forth throw she brought it part way back and droped it.:rolleyes:
We did some work on "hunting them up" and she was working the field fairly well. She never is more the 15 yards out from me but that seems fine. The snow was deep with a crust and it was cold but she was having fun.
I was very pleased when I tossed the bumper into the standing corn and she charged in and found it. Of couse she didnt bring it back to me. :rolleyes:
After this we went for a walk and worked on some quartering. She does this fairly natural. At this point I put away the wistle and commands and let her enjoy being out. When we left the field she still had her tail going so we were both happy.

Later today I worked in the house with her and got a 7 out of 10 retrieve rate on the bumper. This was done with me down on her level and really working her up before the toss and praising her like crazy after. Im considering no praise when she doesnt return with the bumper. Is that to correct road to go down? Not scold her mind you just not praise. She will be aproaching baseball soon for hand signals if I can just get a 100% return rate on land. I certainly cant teach her baseball and lineing in the water.
 
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